Need New Flow Meter

Ok gang. 3 unit is installed and now I want to order a flow meter. I get that they are not yet shipping but seems very odd that I can’t get into the queue to procure one.

Any advice? Could order a combo and send back the controller but that seems dishonest and unethical.

Trying to be loyal.


I saw on another post they aren’t currently selling the Flow Meter by itself but are looking into the possibility of doing that. I’m sure once they start shipping there will be an option to buy just the Flow Meter for those of us who just got the R3 and now wish we had purchased the combo to begin with.


Agreed. I’d like to buy it now to since I received by gen 3. Hope this is option soon


Before ordering one of these you better think through how to attach it. I ordered one but it seems that the SharkBite fittings Rachio expects people to use will not work. You cant just cut out a segment from 3/4" copper and insert the flow meter plus two 1" x 3/4" SharkBite coupling reducers. One side will work, but the other will not. You essentially need a slip coupling but SharkBite and nobody else makes one that goes from 1" on one end to 3/4" on the other. I tried to tell Rachio this, but just got a bunch of misleading emails with utter nonsense. If they would have made the flow meter with 3/4" connectors everything would have been fine. But not.

Wow. That’s really interesting. Thanks for the post brother…

Hello @nmstough! Thank you for letting us know that the flow meter installation was challenging (or impossible, I can’t tell the outcome from your post)! Our testing team has installed the flow meter on a number of 3/4 inch copper pipe systems will 100% success using the recommended measurements and fittings. I’m very interested in what happened with your installation. I would love to prevent anyone else from having similar trouble. Would you mind if we chatted directly? I also want to see the “misleading emails”; I hate to have wrong information circulating.

I’m happy to keep chatting on this thread, or you can email me directly:

As soon as I figure out what happened, I will post to the community and contact anyone who may have similar issues arise during install.

Thank you so much for posting. Again, sorry to hear that install was a bummer. I’d love to make it right.

Rachio R & D


Ill be glad to send you the erroneous emails although it will identify those in your organization who dont seem to understand the advice they are giving.

I havent installed the flow meter yet - like others have posted I havent received it. But in preparation I was researching the fittings required because there are no specifics on your website or in any of your documents (e.g., part numbers).

The major issue is not that its impossible to use the reducing couplings. Thats possible if you have flexibility at one end of the copper pipe - so that it can be “pushed” onto the coupling. But if both ends of the copper pipe are totally fixed (as with an existing installation where a segment is cut out), then when installing the flow meter you can push one end with its coupler OK onto the end of the copper. But once you do that the other end is now fixed and immobile. So now you have two immobile pieces, the other non joined copper pipe and the flow meter. As you can see from various youtube videos SharkBite makes a “slip” coupling for such a purpose. The slip allows for the coupling to be slid in the direction away from the flow meter onto the copper without “fixing itself” until it is slip back in the direction of the flow meter.

The problem is that there is a reducing slip coupling doesn’t exist.

I think I followed that… Once you slip the flow meter on one side, there will be no give to fit it onto the other side, right?

Easy enough to fix with PVC, just cut and add a coupler. Not sure if that can be done with copper.

Yes, there will be a fixed length gap once one side of the flow meter is coupled to the copper pipe on one side. Theres no way to fit the other coupler into the gap and then get it to close shut. If you mean that if the pipe were PVC, yes, that might work. In that case you have glue so that the coupler can glue onto the PVC wherever its positioned, even if its not inserted the whole way. But copper will not work with these SharkBite fittings.

@nmstough I would love to see the emails, thank you! Identifying the source of incorrect advice is the point :slight_smile:

We have tested installation on a number of different systems and have consulted with a number of irrigation professionals and plumbers. So far there have been no concerns about there being enough “wiggle room” in the pipe to pop the flow meter in with the fittings that we recommend using for installation. The only systems that I have seen that don’t have a little movement in the cut pipe are systems made with galvanized steel pipe (which is rare and we don’t recommend attempting to install directly on steel pipe).

Tell me more about your system! I’m happy to help with making sure you have the right fittings.

The shopping list for flow meter installation is located in our support documentation here:


If you look at your own suggested document, you’ll see a perfect example of the kind of misinformation that is being supplied by Rachio. Look at the last suggested fittings (3/4" copper). That is the most likely kind of pipe people will have. The suggested fitting is a ball valve? On both sides of the flow meter?

This is utter nonsense. Why? People dont need two more valves in their installation. Just because they are reducing? There wouldn’t even be enough space for all this nature of contraption. Flow meter + 2 ball valves? Neither of them is a slip connection either (see the above for the importance of it). This will accomplish nothing more than trying to use two standard reducing couplings.

As I have explained before you cant be “wiggling” your copper pipe trying to stuff these couplings into it. Thats a recipe for damaging the valuable copper installation. You need a slip coupling for proper installation.

Why didn’t you use 3/4" for both ends of the flow meter? That would have resolved the issue for almost all.

@nmstough, I appreciate that you are sharing your concerns and opinions. What a great way to learn from each other. :grinning:

As you know, there are no slip connectors that work from 1 inch ABS (the flow meter material) to 3/4 inch copper. In order to allow the flow meter to swivel 360 degrees, we need to use a sharkbite-style coupler. The only coupler that meets the criteria has a ball valve. When we interviewed both irrigation professionals and customers, everyone was fine (or even happy!) with the ball valve.

Also, I said “wiggle room” not wiggling. Pipes have play, and so far in installations, there has been plenty to accommodate the fitting without a risk of damaging the system. Your system could be different! Could you send me a picture of your system so that I understand more about where you are coming from? And I want to learn about that. I have already taken note of every concern that you have already voiced.

You seem to know a lot about irrigation. Are you an irrigation professional? Perhaps you could join our professional consulting team; I could call you during R & D. PM me if you are interested. :sunglasses:

At this point, it might be worth waiting and trying the installation first. Most importantly, I look forward to hearing from you after you receive the flow meter and install (or attempt to) it, then your feedback will be concrete and we will be able to respond to any miscalculations on our end.

Lastly, please forward the emails you mentioned in your first post. I’m really looking forward to reading them and cleaning up any misinformation.


Well handled piperrose. I suggest you two get a room so to speak to work this out. Lol.

Can’t wait to be able to buy one so I can mess with you!! :innocent:


Wby should you be learning from me? I am the one who paid. You are being paid. For what?

Yes, there are no slip connectors that work for the most important application: 3/4" copper. So why wasn’t the flow meter designed with 3/4" PVC instead of 1"? This is a serious design flaw.

The fact that you think people are going to put two ball valves on both sides of the flow meter is laughable. Even your own personnel who emailed me apologized over that advice. And I have nowhere near enough space for that. Just consider flow meter + ball valve + ball valve = way more than the length of copper I have outside the ground.

I have a total of 12 inches of copper to work with. Thats all. And there is absolutely not even a tiny bit of “wiggle room” to move the pipe. Its totally fixed and solid.

I dont know anything about irrigation. I’m not even a plumber. I just learn by watching youtube videos. Thats where I learned that a slip coupling is essential. I have no idea why you guys thought you could avoid that.


I understand your concerns, but let’s please keep this discussion civil and non-condescending.


Civil. Im outraged. You guys have charged me hundreds of dollars something that hasn’t even passed alpha testing, let alone beta. I spent hours of my time trying to get my device connected.

Then your app keeps crashing and crashing. Its useless even after I had to provide 10 times feedbacks to the development team.

Then you come up with a horrendous thoughtless design for a flow meter.

You and your firm needs to be called onto the carpet. Hopefully others will listen and avoid your garbage products.

I would request a refund then and move along. Sorry you are not as happy with this company as I seem to be. Best of luck to you.


As an example of how grateful Rachio is for my advice, I got a message saying that they were going to remove my account because I was not engaging in a constructive conversation.

Frankly I am trying to assist other potential users of the product with details of the issue with the flow meter not being compatible with 3/4" copper pipe. And one person responded to my posting about how useful that is to them.

If that is not constructive, I dont know what is.

Ok. So back to this OP original post. Lol. When will flow meters be made available to existing Rachio 3 owners?

Need a date.

Cmon team. Let’s get these units out and about!!!


I would be willing to wait a bit longer on mine if they would make it with the 3/4" PVC on the sides. Still it really is not proper that they charged everyones credit card on the order date rather than when the item was shipped. By doing this we have all become unsecured creditors and are taking the risk of loss in the event of bankruptcy.